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Old 05-15-2012, 02:20 PM   #1
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from NC to Maine

We're heading from NC to Maine in July. Any help on the best routes would be appreciated. Remember I'm just a good ole Southern boy, not much experience with yankees. Coot

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
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Remember that Conn. has very few travel centers, so fill up prior to going thru that state. We stayed in Bass Harbor last year and had a blast....ate lots of lobster and blueberry pie! The hiking is great, biking is great, but oh the lobster....

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:32 PM   #3
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Well you are a brave man but here goes.

Take 95 north the 295 around Richmond. 295 north to exit 41. Take route 301 north to route 50 just east of WDC. Follow 50/301 in Maryland and then stay on 301 which become 896 straight to 95. This route will get you around WDC and Baltimore something you realy don't want to do.

Take 95 north into New Jersey and get on 295 just after the bridge. 295 north, watch the quick get on and off of 76 at Camden, to 195 east to the NJ Turnpike north. I say this as apposed to just getting on the NJ Turnpike in south Jersey unless you just like to pay tolls for some reason.

Now for the fun part.

NJ turnpike, 95, to the George Washington Bridge into NY. 95 north to 287 west to 684 north to 84 east and on into Mass. Take 90 east to 495 and back on 95 just short of NH.

While that is the most direct route through NY I would suggest you consider the NJ Turnpike to 287 north into NY and then 87/287 across the Tappanzee bridge to 684 north. 684 north to 84 and than as above.

The route across the GW bridge is the shortest route. Unless you can cross the NY city area between 10 am and 3 pm or in the middle of the night. However I suggest the route around NY. It will look like more miles but you may survive to talk about it and that alone is worth something.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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We're going to Maine later in the year as well. My niece said, "If you have the time and the dimes, swing real wide around that crowed spot on the coast known as NYC." I think that means Notorious Yankee Country :-O
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:08 PM   #5
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has anyone done the trip taking 287N TO 87N TO 84W? the 287E/tappan zee bridge to 95N can be pretty crowded at times. you might want to calculate the tolls on the route. many tolls have gone up dramatically. (more of an issue with 3 axles)

oh and on the topic of fuel...... don't pass up the oportunity to fuel up in nj !
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:06 PM   #6
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Yes the toll across the bridge at Annapolis will be $25.00 and the return will be $25.00 at the Potomac river bridge. Jersey Turnpike to the GW bridge will be about $20.00, I say about that because I generally get on just above what I suggested above. Not sure about the GW because they missed my trailer the last time I crossed it and the truck was $10.00. Most likely at least $25.00

The tolls up 301 are worth it rather than going through WDC and Baltimore. You would have a $15.00 or so toll around Baltimore on 695 if you go that way.

You are stuck with the Mass turnpike but only for a short distance before you get to 495.

For got mention, in Maine try not to use the Maine turnpike because it is a toll road and the old road is just as good.

It is getting to the point where it will be better to swap trailer with someone north or south of NY.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:30 PM   #7
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Be aware that you MUST use the beltway around Baltimore - they do not allow any propane tanks in the downtown tunnel larger than the ones you use on a coleman stove. I barely remember it, but they had a propane truck blow up in a tunnel back in the early 1960's.

I LOATHE I-95 especially in Florida and Virginia, and the beltway around DC is always bad. When I have no other choice I go through that at between 3:00 and 4:00 AM - preferably Sunday night.

I also agree, plot a route FAR out from NYC. I mean I-81 and I-74!

Also watch out for the MOOSE in Maine. They are NO Joke to hit - their legs break and their 1000 lb bodies come through your windshield. People get killed hitting moose so take it slow and easy. They also get mean if they're in rut... or just ticked off by the insects I think. If you see an aggressive moose - get out of it's way.

Have a good time, and once you taste lobster rolls, you'll probably find a fugitive liking for Yankees!

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Old 05-15-2012, 06:09 PM   #8
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Go up 220, cross the Blue Ridge to 81 on 64 at Charlottesville. Follow 81 thru Penna. until you can cross over to 95 north of NYC. Avoids most tolls and big city congestion, and is not too much longer than the "shortest" route. Make sure things in the trailer are well stowed, northern roads are very rough and will beat the crap out of your trailer, esp. in Maine. Also, NY state has it's own surcharge on tickets in addition to the local fine.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:46 PM   #9
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NC to Maine via I81 to I95

We live in Piedmont NC. My preference for traveling to New England is US 52 from Winston-Salem to I-81. I 81 runs along the mountains in Virginia and takes you past the entire Washington/Baltimore congestion to Pennsylvania. There is considerable truck traffic on I81 but I find it preferable to the I95/Jersey Turnpike corridor.

In PA you have a couple of options:

Take I78 E to the Jersey Turnpike in Newark, then north to I95.

An alternative is to take I81 to Scranton and then up I84 to Massachusetts where it connects with I90 east and then on to I290 to I485 and then to I95 north of Boston.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:23 PM   #10
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From a Connecticut resident --

When towing:

Prefer the George Washington Bridge over the Tappan Zee Bridge whenever possible.

Unless you are visiting the Connecticut Shore or Rhode Island, take I-84 rather than I-95 any time or day.

The quality of roads through the NYC area is poor. The traffic on the I-95 corridor through Connecticut is often quite slow.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by richinny View Post
has anyone done the trip taking 287N TO 87N TO 84W? the 287E/tappan zee bridge to 95N can be pretty crowded at times. you might want to calculate the tolls on the route. many tolls have gone up dramatically. (more of an issue with 3 axles)

oh and on the topic of fuel...... don't pass up the oportunity to fuel up in nj !
We just did this last week -- we were coming from Quarryville PA and needed to head up to Boston (where we are now)....we overnighted in NJ, and took 287E/Tappan Zee to 84N. I want to say it was like 15 bucks for our dual axle to cross. We were coming through Saturday morning, and the traffic was completely non-existant through NJ and NY (actually it was empty until we got to MA).

The one thing we did notice was the lack of travel centers (as noted) and the stupid Parkways that don't allow towing.

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Old 05-16-2012, 05:20 AM   #12
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Chuck, Florida 55 (post #9) has the right idea (in my hmble opinion), using his I81 to I84 alternative....from someone who lives and tows in the NY region. Even if you hit a no traffic window on the Tappan Zee or GW the condition of the roads are pretty bad.

On I84 just west of the Hudson River (Newburgh) there is a Flying J you can fuel up with diesel and/or gasoline depending on your preferred flavor, which should get you through the hard to fuel zone until on 95 in NH where there are rest areas on the highway.

Even adding in the extra miles of running up 81, you may get there faster without going through the DC "mixing bowl", Baltimore Beltway, Crazy fast and congested NJ Turnpike, and always adventurous immediate NYC roadways.

If you choose to do the GW or Tappan ZEE, watch your gps directions. You are not permitted to drive on any Parkway with a trailer....or commercial vehicle (which means most Crew cab pickups). The local troopers do enforce it as it is an easy $100 or so to support their salaries.......

This all being said, if you wanted to stop and see some of the NYC area there are some campground options in the Newburgh area which makes it possible for you to park and grab a commuter train to Grand Central from Beacon.

Good luck with your trip and planning.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:07 AM   #13
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If you want to by pass Richmond and the DC area I would recommend you get off I 95 at at Emporia and take Rt 58. This will take you through Suffolk, around Norfolk and over the Bay Bridge tunnel to the eastern shore of VA, MD and DE. I would then take Rt 13 to Pocomoke. At Pocomoke you have a choice stay on RT 13 or take 113.

The traffic can be heavy as you near Norfolk and there is a bridge that you must go over that in my opinion is fairly narrow as major bridges go but usually traffic is slow going over it.

Traffic is not heavy on the Bay Bridge tunnel however both tunnels are only one lane each way with no divider or shoulder. The rest of the the bridge is to two lane both way.

The traffic is not that heavy on 13 and it is two lanes; most of the way the speed limit is 55 MPH, however, slow down when you go through the towns. I think they are speed traps.

It does not matter if you take either 13 or 113 (I believe 13 is a little shorter) as they merge into 1 just outside of Dover De, where you get on the toll road. That takes you to Wilmington and RT 95 then the Delaware Memorial Bridge to the Jersey turnpike. There is construction on the Turnpike but is not bad on weekends.

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Old 05-16-2012, 07:22 AM   #14
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One of my least favorite memories was driving from Boston to the Jersey Shore last year. New York City, Cross Bronx Expressway, G.W. Bridge etc. It was raining cats and dogs, it was a Friday afternoon and I was only driving a 20' long Sprinter Van.

I'm headed to Maine next year from Florida and I don't care if it's a 300 mile detour I ain't doing that again, especially not with my 50' long truck and trailer.

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